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One loaf in seven contains GM soya

7th February 2002

The Food Commission has called for tougher GM regulation following a government survey found 31 bakery foods out of a sample of 203 to contain genetically modified (GM) soya.

The survey, published by the UK Food Standards Agency (1), investigated methods for detecting small amounts of GM material. Of the 31 positive products, 19 contained quantifiable amounts of GM soya and a further 12 contained unquantified 'traces' of the material. The findings come after a survey in Ireland (2) found several products containing traces of GM material, despite the fact that they were labelled 'GM-free' or 'organic'.

'The widespread presence of GM ingredients in our food supply - even in small amounts - will cause concern among consumers,' said Dr Tim Lobstein, Food Commission director. 'Sloppy traceability schemes, poor handling and contaminated containers are allowing GM crops to mix with non-GM. This is compounded by loose labelling laws, and the result is that consumer trust will be badly undermined. We need tighter laws, rigorously enforced and defended in the consumers' interest.'

(1) Food Standards Agency: Assessment of the performance of real time PCR to quantitatively determine genetically modified soya in processed food products, 1 Feb 2002.
(2) Food Safety Authority of Ireland: Survey of the presence of GM soy, 3 Jan 2002 [].